Timeline

Singing Praise, Again!

Hodgson 2015Many have asked if we are still pursuing the Ethiopian adoption now that we have adopted C.  The answer is a resounding, YES!  When we started the domestic adoption for C

 

we did so as a concurrent adoption.  This means it was an adoption while in process of another adoption.  This was exciting and scary.  We were knowingly committing ourselves to a domestic adoption while waiting for our international adoption from Ethiopia.  We did not feel the Lord was calling us to chose one over the other but both.

The scary portion of this comes with the responsibility of multiple adoptions, particularly the financial aspect.  So many have been exceedingly generous and faithful in their giving towards these adoptions.  In the beginning we were in VA and our church family stepped forward with donations of time, money, and stuff!  Since moving we have had support from folks from all over, US and abroad.  It’s been amazing to witness God’s provision.

We are currently in the waiting stage for our Ethiopian adoption, waiting for our referral.  October 2015 will mark 3 years since our dossier arrived in Ethiopia and we have been on the waiting list with our agency.  When we began we didn’t think it would be this long.  God is good.  He rearranged our plans.  We now have a beautiful daughter adopted domestically we didn’t initially “plan” on.

As we wait, He’s been faithful to continue to provide for our adoption.  We came home Easter weekend from a lovely visit with family and friends in VA to the joyous news we have received a generous grant from HeritageLink Adoption Foundation.  What a tremendous blessing this grant is for us!  Another family who had also received a grant from HeritageLink had posted and shared the information and we decided to apply.  It has been amazing to see others within the adoption world who have helped, advocated, and shared the blessings they have received.  We are so grateful for this grant and being ever closer to bringing home our child from Ethiopia.

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Introducing…

We are thrilled to be able to introduce our daughter, C.R.!  She was born July 10, weighing in at 7lbs 4oz.  The Lord answered many prayers!  C was discharged on the Saturday following her birth and we received our paperwork clearances in time for us to return home with her the following weekend.  Both of these were no small matter.  We had an amazing week of relaxing, enjoying and getting to know our little one at our hosts home.  Thank you to each of you who have prayed, supported and loved us as we’ve walked this journey.

Now for what you’ve all been waiting for…pictures!

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Updates- Give1Save1 and baby excitement!

We apologize for missing day 4 update for our Give 1 Save 1 total, we had a bit of excitement yesterday.  First, below you should find the kids update video for day 3 (1 more video coming).  In the four days as the featured family we have received $522 in donations!   What a tremendous blessing!

As for the excitement, we received a call from the attorney yesterday that baby *might* be on the way and we needed to be ready to go.  Haha, I repeated back to her what she had just explained to me and then tried to stay relatively calm (eh, not so much) as I began calling Husband, a dear friend who would help with the big kids, our adoption consultant, my dad, and our hosts in GA.  All were ready and willing to do what we needed to get us where we needed to be.  An hour or so later, after making all these calls and beginning a frantic packing session, that baby is holding tight for now.  We’re “on call” and my phone ringer is at an obnoxious volume level, so if you hear me as I’m running last minute errands, sorry!

Yesterday’s events definitely put into perspective that we may plan and the C-section may be scheduled but that doesn’t necessarily mean all will go according to plan.  Once again, leaning on Our Father who knows all and sees all.  🙂  Happy 4th to you all!

 

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Preparations, more thanks to give, and surprises!

It’s been longer than I’d like since we’ve had an update.  Husband and I were blessed with a day’s getaway last weekend.  For Christmas last year we had won an auction for a night away and decided now would be a perfect time to use it before baby comes.  I can’t quite find the words to explain how incredibly relaxing and refreshing this 24hours of focused Husband/Wife time was for us.  I was reminded how blessed I am to have this man to do life with, grow with, cry with, and simply enjoy.  He truly is a perfect gift from the Father for me.  I know, I know, enough sappy talk.

We are in full swing of preparations for baby’s arrival.  Husband has been hard at work finishing projects around the house, while I’ve been nesting in general.  I started getting out baby clothes to know what we had and then realized I had nothing to put them in once they were out!  This prompted the painting project (that seems like it may never end) of the $20 dresser I bought over a year ago that’s been sitting in the garage waiting for a fresh coat of paint.

The “big” kids are getting more and more excited about their Virginia vacation.  We’re working on lists for things to pack and not forget.  Getting them ready for their big time away and wondering what it will be like to come home and be a family of 5.  There are many folks in VA ready and excited to see and love on them.

Last weekend my sweet sister(in-law, but I’m delighted to think of her as my sis!) and dear friend hosted an adoption reception for our VA church family.  Isn’t the table lovely?  Only wish we could have been there with them!

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We’ve been so excited to see how the Lord continues to provide for this adoption.  Yes, we’ve said that quite often and what a good and right thing, don’t you think!?  Seeing the Lord’s faithfulness not only blesses us but we’ve had so many folks say how encouraged they are to witness His faithfulness.  Today we received more donations in the amount of $245!  This brings the total to $1032 of the $2000 we are asking the Lord to provide before we travel.  He is good!

(Can I just note that my kids faces throughout this video are a bit hysterical!)

Finally, check back over the next week as there will be two surprises you won’t want to miss!  We’re excited to see what the Lord will do before we travel in just a short time now!  Folks, 2 weeks from today baby is coming!

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Not long now

It won’t be long now until baby is here!  We found out this week that birthmom is scheduled for a July 10th c-section.  After two biological children and not knowing when they might make their grand entrance it’s a little odd knowing the exact day of our 3rd child’s birth so far in advance.  While it will make the birthmother’s recovery more difficult she seems excited to have it on the calendar.  We are communicating via telephone after each of her appointments and since meeting in April there seems to be a greater openness and eagerness to get to know us.

As baby’s arrival approaches we have several prayer requests.

  • For baby’s protection and health in utero.  There are some potential health concerns that we won’t know fully until baby’s birth and we would covet prayers for baby’s protection even now as he/she grows in utero.  Our Father knows this child and cares for him/her already.
  • For continued financial provision.  As we approach the birth there are some large upcoming expenses.  We have received an overwhelming amount of support already and we are so thankful.
  • For details of travel, lodging, etc to work out smoothly.
  • For continued growth of relationship with birthmother.   That she would know our love and respect for the choice she’s making and ultimately that it would be a reflection of our Heavenly Father to her.

On a random practical level, if you have creative video making skills and would be willing and interested in helping us to create a short (3 minute) long video about our adoption journey, we’d be ever so grateful.  The Lord has given us a variety of talents and gifts but compelling creativity with video creation is not one of them.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support!  Can’t believe little one will be here in just about two months!

 

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As Long as You are Glorified

I have written before how much of this adoption journey has been one of me learning to trust the Lord.   This past week I traveled to GA to meet our expectant mom.  I dropped the kids off with the in-laws on Monday so I could get going to the airport early Tuesday.  A happy consequence of dropping them off the day before was date night with Husband!  As we sat and ate our tasty Thai food we talked about some of our frustrations, concerns, and upcoming trip.  We came home to take a walk and checked the mail to find another generous donation from some of church family.  Once again, the Lord’s perfect timing.  With each step that we take and each time we ask, how Lord?!  He continues to gently urge us to trust and abide in Him.

Music is one of the ways the Lord often teaches me.  Tuesday morning as I was running out of the house, a bit later than scheduled, I grabbed Sovereign Grace’s “Come Weary Saints” album to listen to as I drove the two hours to the airport.  I’ve never listened to this album and don’t quite know how we came to have the CD.  I put it in and within 10 minutes had one song on repeat.  The lyrics are as follows:

VERSE 1
Shall I take from Your hand Your blessings
Yet not welcome any pain?
Shall I thank You for days of sunshine
Yet grumble in days of rain?
Shall I love You in times of plenty
Then leave You in days of drought?
Shall I trust when I reap a harvest
But when winter winds blow, then doubt?

CHORUS
Oh let Your will be done in me
In Your love I will abide
Oh I long for nothing else as long
As You are glorified

BRIDGE
So quiet my restless heart
Quiet my restless heart
Quiet my restless heart in You

Continue reading

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Breaking the Silence

We recognize we’ve been fairly negligent in keeping up with the blog.  We’ve been waiting.  We’ve been learning to wait  and trust, trust and wait.

So we figured the best way to break the blogging silence would be to announce we’re expecting!  By this we mean we’ve been matched with a sweet birthmom who is expecting a baby in July.  This is incredibly exciting and completely humbling.  We’ve been chosen by a birth mother to be the adoptive parents of the child that is growing her womb.  The details are forthcoming and we’re looking forward to sharing more of this journey with each of you.

Thank you for your many prayers and support thus far!  For today, we are rejoicing in His grace and provision!

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Another Paper Pregnancy

Since we moved to MI we needed to complete an update to our original homestudy for the Ethiopia adoption.  In the Lord’s provision and providence we were able to use the update to complete necessary paperwork for the domestic adoption.  For those of you who are wondering what does it matter, let me explain.  Each state requires adoptive applicants to complete a homestudy with a licensed social worker to be approved for adoption.  This is true if adopting domestically and/or internationally.  The homestudy requires A LOT of paperwork, several visits from a social worker to your home, and a fee of $2000 or more.  An update typically requires one visit from the social worker, a few pieces of paperwork, and a fee about 1/4 the cost of the original homestudy.

When we first arrived in MI we were given a name of an agency just outside of Detroit that America World had some positive feedback from other MI families.  We made contact and were pleased to learn we would only need an update.  When we said “yes!” to domestic adoption and began concurrent family planning we contacted the social worker again who graciously told us we could do an update without starting over again for the domestic adoption requirements.  This is HUGE!  We’ve come to learn that it’s up to each individual agency/social worker if they will accept the original homestudy or require you to start over.  We’ve also learned that in MI homestudies are only valid for 12 months.  We are so thankful for our social worker who has been so gracious and has worked with us.

At this time she’s approved us for our concurrent domestic adoption, which is a required step to be in compliance with our contract with AW, and is working on our update.  We found out all four of us needed new medical physicals and 2 of the 4 of us have completed ours.  The other two will be done by the middle of the month.  Once the social worker receives these we will have a completed homestudy update which qualifies us for several things:

1.  We’ll be eligible to begin applying to agencies and adoption attorneys for our domestic adoption!

2.  We will be eligible to apply for our renewal for our fingerprints and USCIS approval for the Ethiopia adoption.  This paperwork has to stay current, even if you are still in waiting stage.  Each family is eligible for one free renewal, which will save us almost $900!  Praying for a timely update, smooth sailing with paperwork and favor in the hands of those who are reviewing paperwork!

Overall, as we look at how close we are to begin the domestic adoption and that we will still be moving closer to our Ethiopian adoption, we’re so thankful!

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Saying Yes!

We apologize for the lack of updates these past few months. We are slowly settling in here in MI. In some ways it feels like this has always been home and then there are days when I am asking the clerk at the grocery where the PB is and I bust out a “y’all”. I get the look, if not a flat out “you’re not from around here, are you?!” I, personally, hope the y’all is permanent and that I can instill this in any future Hodgson!

So in the midst of moving to the in laws and then to our own home we learned that the wait time is steadily increasing for Ethiopia. We recognize that this is completely out of our control. We trust that our agency is doing what they can, as well. In the meantime, we pray and anticipate the day we bring home our little one from Ethiopia.

Have you ever noticed that once your heart and eyes are open to the things of God you notice them all over? What a privilege to see Him working and moving. Everywhere we look we see adoption! It’s so neat. We’ve been learning that there is a great need for families willing to adopt African American and Biracial babies in the US! This is remarkable as the abortion statistics among the AA communities are staggering. To know that there are mother’s carrying their babies to term, searching for adoptive families is an amazing answer to prayer. The Lord is at work!

While we’ve been waiting the Lord has been moving in our hearts. For me it’s not just a simple stirring but a clear roar. We feel led to adopt NOW, in addition to our Ethiopia adoption. There is a clear calling on our hearts to be one of the families who says YES! to domestic adoption of one of these babies.

Our agency allows families who are in the Ethiopia program to apply for concurrent family planning. Basically, we are able to pursue the domestic adoption while remaining on the wait list for our Ethiopia adoption. We hope to bring home an infant boy or girl from a domestic adoption in the next year. We will still move up on the wait list at America World and stay “current” on our paperwork, waiting on our child from Ethiopia. The main stipulation is that the child adopted domestically has been in our home for 6 months and we have an approval from our social worker after bringing home baby (i.e. another homestudy update) to continue with Ethiopia adoption.

We are excited to begin the journey of domestic adoption! Will you join us in rejoicing there is a need for families to adopt minorities domestically? Please join us in praying for these brave birth mothers carrying their babies to term and searching for families? Please pray for us as we answer the Lord’s call on our hearts. Your prayers mean so much to us!

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Changes and Waiting

As many of you know, we’ve had some major life changes for 2013. There have been miles logged, boxes packed, and bitter sweet goodbyes said. We’ve experienced grace, mercy, and provisions in many ways. All in all, we are anticipating what the Lord has for the next chapter for our family.

We’ve received word that the wait time for our Ethiopia adoption is increasing and will likely continue to increase. When we began the paperwork chase/paper pregnancy we were told the waits were about 12-18 months. Now it’s 24-30 months but will likely soon be 36 months+. For those who have been asking and wondering the how and whys of this, let me try and explain a little. The agency we have chosen is one with a solid reputation to ensure that the children being adopted are indeed orphans. They make sure the child is “paper-ready”, meaning their paperwork is legit and ready to go before the judge in Ethiopia, prior to giving a family a referral to match their requests. As with any paperwork, this is time consuming and with records sometimes being spotty, it can take additional time and legwork. We are grateful that they are taking the time to make certain these children are orphans and don’t have family somewhere waiting and wanting to care for them.

Additionally, our agency has many families in the Ethiopia program. This is partly due to the “short wait time” for Ethiopia when the families started the process and partly due to the reputation of the agency attracting many families. There are anywhere up to 100 families waiting who are paper ready (Dossier completed and sent to Ethiopia) right now for a referral to Ethiopia. Some have been waiting since January 2011. So that means there are many families who have been waiting longer than we have and before we even submitted our paperwork last October.

While the news of increased wait times is disappointing, we know and trust the Lord’s timing. We rejoice that there are so many waiting and desiring to adopt! We pray as we wait He would continue to prepare us for the son or daughter He has for us and teach us to wait joyfully.

 

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